Published December 9, 2013
Talks I gave
Talking at Most Contagious conference in London this coming Wednesday, December 11th and the title of my talk is “The Experience is The Message”. I am paraphrasing a famous maxim by Marshall McLuhan here – the medium is the message – which is in fact a title of his book. I guess I am trying to be clever.
Published December 8, 2013
Life and work
My last post here was more then a year ago after SIGGRAPH 2012. This is long time ago and a lot of things has happened since then: projects were started and finished, papers published, demonstrations demonstrated and various media wrote about my work. I have been planning to put it all here, while using mostly my twitter feed for updates. More then a year has passed and the backlog of material to share has became so large that it has became clear to me that I should just forget about documenting it all and re-start everything here and now. I am still hoping to post some of the most notable events that took place from 2012, but that would be done in spare time and will be clearly indicated as something that happened between 2012 and 2013. So here we go, lets see how long it will last this time.
We presented a technical paper on REVEL project at SIGGRAPH 2012 conference in Los Angeles in August 2012. Full text of the paper co-authored by Olivier Bau and myself can be downloaded here: PDF. In addition to the paper, Botanicus Interacticus and REVEL projects were demonstrated at SIGGRAPH 2013 Emerging Technology exhibition.
The Botanicus Interacticus installation explored the design of augmented interactive plants with Touché technology. The exhibition was designed in collaboration with Berlin-based Studio NAND as well as Philipp Schoessler, TheGreenEyl and Christian Riekoff. The video of the Botanicus Interacticus installation is above and more information is provided on the project web site → link.
Botanicus Interacticus interactive plants were augmented with dynamic procedurally generated visuals. Each plant installation included a custom designed and manufactured cabinet with an LCD monitor behind the half-transparent mirror. The mirror reflected the plants and the reflections were augmented with the digital images generated on the monitor behind the mirror.
The REVEL installation featured table with multiple objects augmented with dynamic tactile feedback generated using REVEL technology. Simply by placing the objects on the table, tactile sensations were added to them. In addition, the images projected on the table would have tactile feelings as well.
The visitors would have to hold a stick that would connect their body to common ground and activate tactile sensations.
New Scientist ran an in-depth feature story on the state of the touch screen and touch screen haptics. Titled “Touch and Go” the story mentions quite a bit of my work on touch screen tactile feedback including early tactile feedback touchscreens that I did at Sony, i.e. TouchEngine, and more recent work at Disney, i.e. TeslaTouch.
REVEL is a new wearable technology that modifies the user tactile perception of the physical world.
Current tactile technologies enhance objects and devices with various tactile devices, limiting the experience to the interaction with few instrumented devices. In contrast, REVEL can add artificial tactile sensations to almost any surface or object, with very little instrumentation of the environment. As a result, it can provide dynamic tactile sensations on a variety of everyday objects, such as furniture, walls, wooden and plastic toys, and even human skin.
REVEL is based on a principle of ”Reverse Electrovibration”. It is a small wearable device that injects weak electrical signal into anywhere on the user’s body, creating an oscillating electrical field around the user’s fingers. When sliding his or her fingers on a surface of the object, the user perceives highly distinctive tactile textures that augment the physical object. Varying the properties of the signal, such as the shape, amplitude and frequency, can provide a wide range of effective tactile sensations.
Botanicus Interacticus explores the design of highly expressive interactive plants, both living and artificial. Botanicus Interacticus has a number of unique properties. The instrumentation of living plants is simple, non-invasive, and does not damage the plants: it requires only a single wire placed anywhere in the plant soil. It allows for rich and expressive gestural interaction, such as sliding fingers on the stem of the orchid, detecting touch and grasp location, tracking proximity between human and a plant, and estimating the amount of touch contact, among others.
Botanicus Interacticus is based on Touché sensing technology that we developed earlier this year and it will be used to design highly interactive environments based on living plants.
There was a lot of excitement in media in relation to Touché project.
Gizmodo called it “… mindblowing“, a ” … touch of genius” wrote Motley Fool and Venture Beat found it to be ” … amazing“. TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, Fox News, Wired, New Scientist and many others ran excited articles about Touché.
One of the most detailed stories was written by Talking Points Memo, where writer had a long chat with me about the project, history and how it came about. One of my favorite articles was published in London METRO, complete with a drawing of Mickey Mouse doing his magic.
Very nice reception all around.